Australia’s Chief of Army, Angus Campbell, has ordered troops to stop wearing “arrogant” death symbols and iconography among their army kit, a move Australian Conservatives Victorian Director Kevin Bailey has labelled "unbelievable".
The Daily Telegraph reports, Lieutenant General Campbell, who will take the role of Chief of the Defence Force in July, has issued an order that soldiers remove death “symbology/iconography: for example the pirate Skull and Crossbones (maritime outlaws and murderers), the Phantom or Punisher symbols (vigilantes), Spartans (extreme militarism) or the Grim Reaper (bringer of death).”
Lieutenant General Campbell, who spearheaded the controversial Operation Sovereign Borders taskforce on border protection, encountered the symbols worn as patches or badges while visiting army units in Australia and overseas.
He issued the directive on April 17 as an internal minute, but it was later posted on social media.
Lieutenant General Campbell recognised that the wearing of the symbols was not “ill-intentioned” but that they were at odds with the ethos of Australian fighting units.
The minute says such symbols are “always ill-considered and implicitly encourages the inculcation of an arrogant hubris and general disregard for the most serious responsibility of our profession: the legitimate and discriminate taking of life”.
The memo says that the symbols “erodes … this ethos of service.”
He also called on solders to “explain and remove” any of the death symbols, although he acknowledged the “some will rile” at his direction.
Former SAS soldier Kevin Bailey is one of those and he’s told Melbourne radio station 3AW political correctness is infiltrating the upper echelons of the Australian Defence Force.